"Smoke Signals" Radio Archives Project gets underway

Radio Archives Project teamAhniin, She:kon; Boozhoo; Sgeno*.

To mark the beginning of the “’Smoke Signals’ Radio Show Archives Project,” faculty and students from Western recently teamed up with Dan and Mary Lou Smoke to talk about how tribute can be paid to their work at Western. Mary Lou and Dan, both adjunct faculty in First Nations Studies, have a long-standing affiliation with Western and The Faculty of Information & Media Studies (FIMS). This relationship started in 1991 when their radio news magazine show aired on CHRW, Radio Western. Mary Lou and Dan continue to host "Smoke Signals" every Sunday from 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Since 2006, Mary Lou and Dan have also taught a cross-appointed course in First Nations Studies and FIMS on the representations of First Nations Issues in News Media.

The "’Smoke Signals’ Radio Archive Project” is currently funded through a FIMS Fellowship Program. The fellowship supports Indigenous undergraduate and graduate students who will assist with reviewing, organizing, assessing and creating access to the Smokes' materials. One goal of the project is to create a digital site to honour their work that spans from activists to radio broadcasters, storytellers to teachers, and community leaders to archive donors. Successful fellowship recipients, Danica Pawlick Potts (Library & Information Science PhD candidate) and Serena Mendizabal (undergraduate student in First Nations Studies and FIMS), along with Marcell Robitaille (Athabasca University undergraduate student), will now start to organize the archive.

*Ahniin, She:kon; Boozhoo; Sgeno are greetings provided by Dan Smoke in the Ojibway, Mohawk and Cayuga Languages to recognize the United Nations Year of Indigenous Languages.

Pictured in the photograph, Left to Right:
Janice Forsyth, Associate Professor Sociology and Director of First Nations Studies
Mary Lou Smoke, Adjunct Professor, First Nations Studies
Dan Smoke, Adjunct Professor, First Nations Studies
Marni Harrington, Associate Librarian, FIMS
Marcell Robitaille, undergraduate student, Athabasca University
Serena Mendizabal, undergraduate student, FIMS and First Nations Studies
Heather Hill, Associate Professor, FIMS

Missing: Danica Pawlick Potts, LIS PhD candidate; Paulette Rothbauer, Associate Professor, FIMS